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The Field and the ForgePopulation, Production, and Power in the Pre-industrial West$
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John Landers

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279579.001.0001

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Population Dynamics

Population Dynamics

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter Two Population Dynamics
Source:
The Field and the Forge
Author(s):

John Landers (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279579.003.0002

Population in Europe and elsewhere displayed a long-term cyclical pattern in which phases of sustained growth alternated with stagnation or absolute decline. Demographers recognise three major cycles of population growth, which are conventionally termed ‘ancient,’ ‘medieval,’ and ‘early modern,’ before the onset of the so-called ‘modern rise of population’ in the later 18th century. The size and structure of any population are determined in the first instance by two factors: migration and ‘natural increase,’ the balance of births and deaths whose relative importance usually depends on geographical scale. The vital processes of ‘fertility’ and ‘mortality’ represent, in an abstract form, all the things ‘going on’ in a population that make its members more or less likely to experience associated vital events. Models of pre-industrial population and economy include the ‘classical,’ ‘hearth,’ and ‘ecological’ models.

Keywords:   Europe, population growth, migration, natural increase, birth, death, fertility, mortality, population models

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